FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Thursday 25 NOVEMBER 2021
Jesus said to his disciples: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the Scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Luke 21: 20-28)
How shall I live this Word?
In these pages of this week’s Gospel of Luke continue the apocalyptic words in which Jesus urges us to look up. Luke uses this language to speak of the end times and of the fullness that is about to arrive. Let us dwell on the last words: “When these things begin to happen, stand erect and raise up your heads because your redemption is at hand” (Lk 21:28).
The heart of the message of these last days of the liturgical year is not fear, but the hope of future liberation, that is the exquisitely Christian hope of reaching the fullness of life with the Lord, in which our body and the world around us will also participate. The world is not falling into chaos, into the prevailing economic crisis or the pandemic given by Covid-19, but into the arms of a Father who wants to welcome and save everyone. With this certainty, we live operationally and effectively in this world without waiting with resignation and without getting caught up in useless anxieties.
Lord, nourish my hope. Help me to see the ‘invisible’ where everything seems to be darkness. Help me to see your freeing hand in situations of apparent or evident failure. Lord, increase my faith!
The Voice of Pope Francis
Christian hope is the virtue that is present even when normal human hope vanishes. It is a ‘virtue that carries us forward’ but also a ‘humble’ virtue that does not show off bur rather give joy, sometimes even great joy, sometimes only peace, but the security that hope does not disappoint.”
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